As distributed-denial-of-service attacks on banks continue, a U.S. electric utility also reportedly is a DDoS victim. Is this a sign that hacktivists are broadening their targets? Experts offer analysis.
Although hacktivists announced suspension of DDoS attacks against banks, other industries are now getting hit, and banks can't afford to get complacent because of the fraud risk, says security specialist Bill Stewart.
Although a hacktivist group says it has suspended distributed-denial-of-service attacks on U.S. banking institutions, banking and security leaders aren't convinced. "Banks should certainly remain on guard," says Gartner's Avivah Litan.
Hacktivists on Jan. 22 threatened more DDoS attacks against U.S. banks and claimed they recently hit three institutions. Despite banks' improvements in staving off online outages, the longevity of the attacks is concerning, experts say.
Banks have improved DDoS defenses, but ensuring ongoing online reliability requires a more offensive measure - one that rids the Internet of vulnerable sites that can too easily be used for bot traffic.
How are banks responding to DDoS phase 2? "From a technology standpoint, we have improved our defenses quite a bit," says Dan Holden of Arbor Networks. Experts discuss top DDoS lessons banks have learned.
Which fraud trends need the most attention from U.S. banking institutions in 2013? Distributed-denial-of-service attacks and account takeover, says FS-ISAC's Bill Nelson, who offers fraud-fighting tips.
The hacktivist group Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters claims that its second phase of distributed-denial-of-service attacks has affected nine banks since Dec. 11, and it warns more attacks are on the way.